Monday, June 30, 2014

Skating at the beach

Diaristfamily spent the last two weeks at the beach near Atlantic City, New Jersey.  We were visited by the niece from Georgia who rekindled my interest in skating some three or so years ago.  With that in mind, I brought my skates along so we could slip over to the Atlantic City division of the Flyers Skate Zone. 

It was a beautiful beach day.  I hoped the public session would be empty and it was.

First off, unlike many of the other rinks which I patronize, the Skate Zone doesn't cut any slack in terms of fees for either youth or geezers.  You wanna skate?  That'll be $8 bucks and $3 bucks if you need skates.  Freestyle sessions are $12 bucks/hour. Second point: this rink, like Piney Orchard in Maryland, tends to dim the interior lighting to barely adequate.  This is a pet peeve of mine.  I like to see my tracings on the ice.  Having said that, saving energy in a facility that gobbles electricity is understandable.  After all, this is summer and my hopes for an empty rink were realized.  The day niece and I skated there were the two of us, a single speed skater and three boyz on hockey skates.  Yep, six skaters.  The boyz soon engaged in a high speed game of tag but were not a bother.  The speed skater was very predictable.  However he was given to makingodd grunting noises at irregular intervals which gave the sensation of attending a tennis match at Wimbledon--that is if Wimbledon tennis was played inside a dimly lighted cave.

The rental skates rubbed little Miss enough that she decided to go to the beach on the second opportunity a few days later.  On that occasion there were more skaters but still a nice low density with a couple of coaches and private students, another adult figure skater, a hand full of boyz and my friend on speed skates.  All the folks I interacted with were very friendly and after just two visits I think I could easily integrate into the local figure skate crowd.  Nice to have a home away from home.

The AC Flyers Skate Zone is located at 501 North Albany Ave, Atlantic City.  If you vacation at one of the south Jersey beach resorts and decide to bring your skates along keep in mind that like many rinks, this one does shut down for annual maintenance.  This rink's down time occurs during the last three weeks of July.

The rink is within sight of the casinos if that's your thing.

Across the parking lot one sees the "Sand Castle" Stadium.  This, like the ice rink was built on what once was Bader Field, a small air strip.  The Sand Castle once hosted minor league baseball but closed a few years ago.  Last summer the facilities were spruced up for a Dave Matthews concert.